The Government is presenting a project that would subsidize private workers who have lost jobs or days of work due to the measures to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. The funds will come from the difference between current fuel prices and the prices they should be lowered to based on the fall in the international price of oil, among other sources. Another possible source of funding for this initiative is an idea to charge a solidary contribution to wages above ₡1 million.
The plan was passed to the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday. The subsidies would be aimed at those facing a temporary suspension of their employment contract or a reduction in working days. It will also go out to independent workers who can demonstrate a drop in income from the result of the sanitary measures imposed to combat the pandemic.
Part of the deal would be to prevent the Costa Rican Petroleum Refinery and the Public Services Regulatory Authority (Aresep) from processing requests to reduce fuel prices. The funds would be distributed by the Joint Institute for Social Aid (IMAS).
The estimate is that this will help 500,000 salaried employees in the public sector. In the tourism sector, 80% of direct workers could suffer from layoffs, suspension of contracts, or reduction of working hours.